Last fall, the Student Government Association passed an initiative creating the MyCampusToo program to incorporate under-represented students on campus in SGA affairs.
The initiative was the idea of SGA President Jay Todd Richey.
“It’s basically a diversity inclusion and enhancement initiative to try to better incorporate marginalized students at WKU,” Richey said.
According to Richey, students of different ethnicities and students who identify as LGBT often have little voice on campus, and their needs often go unnoticed.
In addition to LGBT students and students of different races, MyCampusToo expands the definition of minority students to include commuter students and students with disabilities.
Richey’s hope is that through this initiative, which encourages minority students to run for SGA positions, these student will begin to feel more included on campus.
According to Michael Shelton, co-chairman of MyCampusToo, the program has already led to the addition of several minority senators.
Richey, however, would like to see increased diversity.
“I’d say right now it’s not where I want to see it, but we do have not only diverse ethnicities in SGA but also a diversity of opinion,” Richey said.
The initiative also tries to encourage marginalized students to seek out opportunities within the WKU community.
According to Richey, many students who fall into the majority group are often comfortable on campus and have ample opportunities around them. Minority students, in contrast, may find it difficult to become an active part of the community.
To change this, members of the MyCampusToo committee regularly attend meetings to strategize plans for inclusion. They take the knowledge they gain and the suggestions they receive from these students back to the SGA.
So far, the response from these groups has been positive.
“A lot of them have welcomed us with open arms,” Shelton said.
In addition to attending the meetings, the committee hosts monthly forums focusing on diversity. These forums, which include faculty and staff speakers, feature a range of topics from sexual assault to race.
Later this month, a forum focusing on race relations in the U.S. and on WKU’s campus will be held.
The forums usually last for an hour and are open to all students.
To students or student organizations interested in becoming part of MyCampusToo, Shelton suggested attending the SGA meetings, which meet every Tuesday at 5 p.m.
“If there are any students on campus wanting to talk, they are more than welcome,” Shelton said.